Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Enchilada Enduro Charity Auction



Grassroots Cycles is holding an online auction for one entry into the first ever & highly coveted "Enchilada Enduro" race in Moab.  This race sold out earlier this spring in a matter of minutes catching many riders off guard who were planning to attend.  All of the proceeds from the auction will go directly to the Adam Lavender family.  Adam is a good friend & Grassroots Cycles teammate who suffered a life changing accident while training earlier this spring that left him in a wheelchair.  

This spot in the race came open from another Grassroots rider Eric Landis not being able to participate due to recovering from a mid season accident of his own.  

When asked about it Landis said: 
"I knew I could just return my spot & get my money back.  But every time I thought about it my mind drifted to Adam.  This race is special & I know there are many riders or teams that want in at any cost.  In the spirit of competition for a good cause I wanted to put my spot up for auction & see what comes of it."
Eric W/Adam & Family:)
This of course had to have the race directors blessing.  As soon as Keith Darner, of the Big Mountain Enduro Series & the Mountain States Cup, heard about this he did not hesitate to get on board.  
During a phone call with Keith: "Yea we could use the extra spot to give to our long wait list but this is for a good cause for a fallen brother!  No Problem!"

The auction is on Ebay & will end at 12:00 Noon Mountain Time Wednesday September 26th Here:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=280971413770

For more information about the race:
http://www.bigmountainenduro.com/enchilada-enduro.html

For more information about the auctioned race slot contact Eric Landis:   eric@allsounddesigns.com

Eric is a Pro Racer Supported by:
Grassroots Cycles
Transition Bikes
MRP Mountain Racing Products
Deity Components
Five Ten Shoes
DT Swiss
MTB Strength Training Systems
Lee Likes Bikes
Kali Protectives
Jett Gear
All Sound Designs

Friday, August 31, 2012

Total Mountain Tamer- Bandit 29


2012 Transition Bandit 29: An in-depth review


After 5 months of riding at a variety of demanding zones (GJ, Moab, Sedona, Squamish, Nelson, Whistler, Bellingham) it is time for an official Bandit 29 (B29) review.  Is this new wagon wheeler from Transition really all that and then some? Is it the game changer that it has been made out to be? Of course the wagon wheels are not for everyone and I am not going to try and convince you to convert. I am just going to share my observations with this extraordinary mountain bike. NOTE: This is a review of the 2012 Bandit 29. With the recent release of the Covert 29 in 2013, Transition is making changes to the 2013 Bandit frame (slightly less travel, slightly steeper head angle, maybe others) which will change the characteristics of the bike.

My Biases
I am 510, 170lbs and come from an AM/SS riding history (think enjoying Free Lunch/Pucker Up on a rigid hardtail). This is my first FS 29er but I have been on 29ers since 2003. I ride for Grassroots Cycles and bought this bike from the shop in April of 2012. For my personal bike, I traded in the 2x10 drivetrain for a 1x10 with a spiderless 30t MRP Bling Ring and Micro G2SL chainguide, Added a KS dropper post, Deity Components Blacklabel bar and pedals, and a 40mm Truvativ stem. I have also been playing with different tire combos as my riding style isn't rewarded by the stock Maxxis Ardents. 


Overview
One thing is for sure, at $3549 (US) complete the B29 is one of the best values in premium bikes today. For a little over double the cost of the frame alone ($1599 US), you get top of the line suspension from Fox Racing Shox, a no fuss X7, 2x10 grouppo from SRAM, and burly wheels from Transition weighing in complete (w/o pedals) at just under 31 pounds. Reasonable component upgrades can bring the weight under 30lbs with a dropper seatpost. Weight wennies are seeing 26-27lbs with unobtanium level builds. 

For me, the only gripes with the stock build are the cranks and stock saddle. The cranks are flexy and the saddle is the most uncomfortable surface I have ever rested my arse on. The wheels are also quite heavy, but that is the price you pay for getting stiff and strong 29er wheels that can cope with the punishment the rest of the bike was built to handle. 

I was most surprised by the level of quality in the finish. The welds and paint look like they belong on a one-off custom, not a $1600 Taiwan frame. All of the threads were clean as a whistle, requiring no facing, very good stuff. 

Here are some of the key frame features:
            •          Sizes- M/L/XL (18, 19.5, 21)
            •          Colors- black, pewter, or bright green
            •          Tapered headtube
            •          Hydroformed tubes (toptube and downtube)
            •          ISCG 05 chain guide tabs
            •          Dropper post cable routing
            •          2 water bottle mounts
            •          Ample frame clearance for the beefiest 29er tires on the market
            •          Sealed cartridge bearings in all pivots
            •          12×142 dropouts with replaceable dropouts convertible to 10x135


Geometry
As for frame geometry Transition has focused on taking the compact, low, slack characteristics found on their more gravity oriented sleds, and marrying it with a pedal friendly linkage to create a confidence inspiring trail bike that laughs in the face of 29er stereotypes. The effective top tube length is short for typical industry sizing coming in almost a full inch shorter than other companies similarly sized offerings. The short top tube lengths are necessary to avoid a limo length wheelbase and consequent slow handling. The seat tube angle is fairly steep, which keeps more rider weight forward and the reach short allowing the bike to climb with good manners despite having a headtube angle on the slack side (68.5* for 2012). Looking for one ride to do it all, I choose a large Bandit 29 in pewter. I am 5'10" and could ride either a large or medium according to Transitions' sizing guidelines. I chose a large as the reach and top-tube numbers are similar to what I am used to riding and I wanted to run wide bars and a short stem while keeping a roomy cockpit. Sometimes I find myself wishing for the medium as the large is harder to manual and more difficult to work through the really tight sections than the medium for a person of my stature, but I still feel right at home on the large and really enjoy the spacious cockpit for a bike that has to do it all from all-day epics to laps on flow trails at the bike park.

Riding Traits

who says 29ers cant do tight and technical?
Ladies Only, Mt. Fromme on a Transition Bandit 29 from shredlightly on Vimeo.

This is a bike that refuses to be categorized by the xc, trail, all-mountain nomenclatures that we have grown to accept in todays mtb world. This is a mountain bike, pure and simple. The B29 feels at home from XC epics, to the steep and committing trails of BC, to the airy flow lines at Whistler and Crested Butte. There isnt much this bike isnt capable of.

All-day XC rides are a dream with 5" of uber-plush travel and the big wheels. This spring, I took the Bandit 29 on a 4 day, 150 mile ride of the Kokopelli Trail and I never wished I was on any other bike. It takes a very special bike to comfortably and confidently take you from the technical singletrack of Fruita, CO through the rolling sandy double track of the Colorado River bluff country, descend the infamous Rose Garden Hill, climb into the La Sal Mountains TWICE, and then descend UPS,LPS,Porc Rim to Moab,UT all without batting an eye.

The Bandit 29 is a capable climber that will go uphill efficiently but without a lot of snap. After riding a few of the masterful climbing dual link bikes, I was pleasantly surprised by the B29 as it climbs with little pedal induced bob like a dual link bike but displayed almost no pedal kickback unlike the dual link bikes. The B29 does ride lower in its travel than most bikes. Some like this trait, some dont. I found it to aid my climbing by allowing for the rear wheel to track the ground better and give more traction for climbing over roots, rocks, and ledges.


The suspension soaks up the trail with aplomb and a plush yet bottomless feel. Everything from small bumps over pebbles to serious air time jump lines, drops to flat, and high speed chatter are met with composure and buttery smoothness. The custom tuned Fox RP23 and Float 34 work great together creating a progressive feel that ramps up ever so slightly so that it is hard to feel the bottom yet never feels harsh. Genius suspension/linkage tuning by Fox and Transition on the B29 has created the finest riding suspension platform out of the box that I have pedaled to date.

Point it downhill and the Bandit 29 shows its true pedigree. While it may not be as playful as its 26 sibling, the Bandit 29 does a great job of making the big wheels feel nimble. It is easy to manual and willingly flies from lip to transition without drama. The short HT and low BB really help the bike corner with confidence that I have never felt on a 29er before riding the B29.

I just recently wrapped up a 3 week tour of British Columbia and the PNW testing the B29's mettle in legendary freeride locales like- Nelson, Squamish, Whistler, North Vancouver, and Bellingham. I may have been the only one on big wheels in most of these zones (and received my fair share of teasing for it) but the Bandit killed! The big wheeled Bandit showed no hesitation on the steep greasy roots and rocks of the North Shore. The bike went right where I pointed it and kept encouraging me to go faster and to fly farther than a trail-bike should. Sure, the steep, fall-line trails and vertical rock-slabs were a bit beyond the Bandit's comfort zone. But all that meant was stopping to scope the stunts before committing. All but the big mandatory gap stunts and steepest slabs were ridden aboard a 5" 29er while locales on DH bikes looked on, stunned. The only places I was left wishing for a 26" bike was on trails where the cornering was critical to find the flow and the air time was plentiful. These are more shortcomings of the wheel size than the bike.


Some attributes of the B29 that pins the fun meter are:
•           Short wheel base. A big contributor to the “playfulness” of the bike
•           Slack head tube angles. Confidence inspiring on the descents
•           Steep seat tube angle. Balanced on steep inclines
•           Short head tube. Keep the stack height low for a lower center of gravity
•           Low BB height. Low center of gravity, better cornering
•           Short chainstays. Keep it tight to keep it fun

This bike fits well in so many different scenarios that it really is a great all around mountain bike. Love long distance epics? Build it light and the bike will keep you fresh into the wee hours of the morning. Enduro/Super-D racing? Add a dropper seatpost and 1x10 w/chain guide and blow away the competition. Just want a bike that you can have fun on, day in, day out? Buy it stock, dont change a thing and pedal away into the sunset knowing you are on one of the most thorough mountain bikes out there today.

Call Grassroots Cycles today at 970.243.2453 to demo this game changing, total mountain taming machine.




Monday, August 6, 2012

2012 Specialized Enduro at Winter Park!


July 27-29th was the long awaited 2nd annual Enduro Stage Race at Winter Park, CO.  Last year this race was the first of its kind in the USA and was met with an outstanding response.  Because of its huge success last year, this year it was even bigger.  Large companies such as Specialized, Shimano and SRAM and some super pros all showed up for a killer time at the first annual Colorado Freeride Festival (previously called Crankworx Colorado) at Trestle Bike Park.  

If you don’t know what an “Enduro” bike race is, let me explain.  It’s a new form of racing that is aimed at combing all skills of mountain biking into one event to try and find the overall best rider.  This event was comprised of 5 totally different “stages,” aka races and the overall winner was determined by the racer’s combined time on all 5 stages.  Also, each racer had to use one bike and was only allowed to change tires and wheels.  Stages 1 and 2 were on Friday, 3 and 4 on Saturday, and 5 was on Sunday.  Stage 1 started off as a 7-9 minute chainless downhill race.  Stages 2-4 were similar in format but used very different tracks and ranged from 7-12 minutes.  Some were faster and more aggressive, while others had an uphill or two and required more pedaling than the others.  Stage 5 was a much longer and the racers had a 20 minute pedal from the chairlift up to the start of the race.  This stage ranged from 20-40 minutes and definitely favored the strong pedallers.  

Eric Landis with his broken hand all wrapped up like Grandma.
Roots riders in attendance were myself (Peter Knepper), Eric Landis, and Noah Sears.  While we had a low showing of racers, tons of friends and family were there to ride and hang out.  Unfortunately, I was the only racer to finish the event.  Eric broke his hand in the chainless stage 1 race when he washed out in a berm and Noah had some bike problems practicing for stage 4 that prevented him from racing stage 4 or 5.  While disappointed, Eric handled his injury very well because he has had an amazing streak of solid racing for a few years now with no major injuries and great results.  He felt it was just his time and luckily he doesn’t have to have surgery and should be racing again in 8 weeks.  Noah was really bummed about his bike, but handled it like a champ also and went to work with is camera for the remainder of the event.  On Sunday, he borrowed a Transition TR250 from Sara Landis to ride just for fun and was blown away at how fun that bike was. 
  
Me and my magical Bandit, super tired after stage 5.
 While Noah and Eric didn’t have the race they were hoping for, Stage 1 was the best race of my life.  I’m not the strongest pedaller so chainless races suit me very well.  Ever since I built up my Transition Bandit, I have felt like one with it and this stage was no exception.  I ended up in 5th place sandwiched between Ross Schnell and Lars Sternberg…. OMG.  With a finish like this, I felt I could almost retire now (even though I won’t).  However, as the stages continued and I became more and more fatigued, and the stages became longer and more pedally, I went from 5th – 16th – 17th - 23rd – 36th in the pro class.  I know I need more training, and I’ll be doing everything I can to get it.
Me off the finish line jump. Brakes were on fire after crossing that finish line.



In short, the event was awesome, and Winter Park’s Trestle Bike Park is an awesome place to ride.  If you haven’t done an enduro or ridden winter park, get after it.  You won’t regret either one.  However, if you’re going to ride WP, get there early because daily afternoon thunderstorms can close the mountain early!

All results from the event can be found here.


Post by: Peter Knepper (Grassroots Team Rider)

Saturday, August 4, 2012

video
Jesse started her new job with the State of Washington in Bellingham this week.  I took the week off to help her move into a new place until I can get up there in October.  This little edit chronicles the rides we did while we were there. We're going to miss Grand Junction and especially the Roots Crew! Take a look, its needless to say that we're stoked to shred the PNW!!!
-blake

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Gettin' Down with Papa Smurf, Al Green, and Double Vision


Gettin back on the bike after a broken shoulder with Adam (Lunchtime) Wadas.  Middle of February.  Super good XC ride at 18 road with the Transition Bandit.  So good we stayed and ran Kessel shuttles and drank PBRs til we couldn't see.  


More shoulder (and mental) rehab at Loma with the Bandit.  Another banger day in FEBRUARY.  Unseasonably warm and sunny.  Yes please.


March trip to Moab with Jed Sims, the TR250 and the Bandit.  3 day weekend with Half Enchilada shuttles, Magnificent 7 cherry poppin', Chili Pepper DH runs, and killer 100 foot straightlines just off the Sand Flats road.  The best big bike jibs in Moab were right in camp!


Pink van, Hot shuttle driver, Jedi, Al Green, Half Enchilada, Bluebird, Boom.


May means time for a PNW road trip and big mexican road sodas.


OREGON.  Holly with a post ride brew in Oakridge.  Lots of shuttles here.  Chose to bring the Transition  Double along this time.  Rode every thing from XC to flowy jump trails to full on techgnar.  The Double went  
into Honey Badger mode, it didn't give a shit.  Chewed up logging road climbs, railed berms, boosted jumps and even knocked off a couple large cliff drops.  Definitely the most versatile bike in the quiver.


More Oregon goodness.  This is Holly at the top of a 15 mile downhill.  OK.


Gettin' back on the big boy horse.  Granny's Kitchen pro line at Blackrock.  Top ten trail in my book.  So fast and smooth.  The double asked for more.


Pit stop in Portland at Voodoo Donuts before heading up to Bellingham and the best trails in the Northwest.
Stay tuned for more Grassroots Cycles and Transition assisted bike riding in 2012.  James would say Boom.
-Joel












Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Snowmass Enduro Master of the Mass


This was the first of many enduro races of the season for the Roots.  Sean Shuman, Noah Sears, Kyle Fissel, Jesse Ruland, Eric Landis, and I (Sara Landis) headed up to Snowmass on Friday morning to begin a three day, four stage, enduro race through beautiful single track, creek crossings, tight trees, jumps, rocks and berms.  We had one bike to cover the gamut of racing and could only change tires and pedals for each stage.  It seems as though the 29er is beginning to have an edge as far as the all mountain bike goes as everyone but the Landii had a large wheeled steed.
Top of  Super D Course 3500' above the finish line!

Sara on the Super D course



The first stage was a 8.5 mile 3500 foot descent Super D course that took even the fastest pro’s 23 minutes to ride down.  It began at the very top of the Elk Camp Chair and ended on a service road near the rodeo parking lot and had everything you could ask for.  Although littered with mechanicals and small scale crashes, everyone had a fantastic run down.  A tough climb in the middle seemed to separate out the riders but all and all it was amazing.  We all had some catching up to do for Stage 2 though.

Sean – Pro – 15th Place
Noah – Pro – 28th Place (Flat tire)
Jesse – Pro – 25th Place
Eric – Pro – 21st Place (Mechanical)
Kyle – Am – 10th Place
Sara – Am – 3rd Place




The second stage, on Saturday Morning, was the one I dreaded most, the cross country.  It was a 9 mile loop with about 1200 ft of climbing.  Once again, we had some great single track and of course a trek on the fire roads but ended on Valhalla, the new jump trail in Snowmass.  It turned out not to be too terrible as it only lasted about an hour and it definitely made some changes in the overall standings.  Kyle had “food poisoning” making his trip fairly miserable but he managed to complete the trail in pretty good time, he still beat me!  

Cross Country Results: 
Sean –10th
Noah – 24th 
Jesse – 25th 
Eric – 7th
Kyle –13th
Sara – 3rd 
Noah using his skills to keep his competitors behind him through the creek crossing
Stage 3 was my overall favorite of the weekend.  It was a chainless downhill down Valhalla, a top to bottom trail full of incredible corners, wooden bridges and jumps that kept you using all of your skills to get down in one piece.  I loved this trail because I am not much of a jumper and as the weekend progressed, I was able to get more and more air over each jump. Since I didn’t have to worry about over jumping like all of the rest of the guys, I could just let go of the breaks and fly!

Proof that my tires left the ground (at least a little bit)
 There was definitely some good competition between Eric and Sean and they both planned on taking the win but Steve Wentz inched his way to 1st beating Sean by 1 second and Eric ended up 5th.
Sean keeping it low over a lippy jump.


29" Flow Train from NoahColorado on Vimeo.
Chainless Downhill Results: Sean - 2nd, Noah – 17th , Jesse –16th  , Eric – 5th, Kyle – 7th , Sara – 2nd

The 4th and final stage was run on the Pro Downhill course on Sunday and although everyone was used to running it on their big bikes, it didn’t slow anyone down to use their smaller all-mountain ride.  I was quite impressed with the aggression down the course.  I think the times were similar to those during an actual downhill race!  Our team was definitely in their element and riding fast, trying to show those cross country racers what was up.  Sean had a great run down the mountain and was pinning it when he slid out in a corner near the bottom, still ending up 12th with an overall of 9th

Sean dropping the road drop on the DH course

 Noah and Jesse both had good runs down ending up in 18th and 20th and overall they finished in 26th and 24th.  Eric was determined to win one of the stages and came as close to winning as possible but lost out to Steve Wentz by .01 seconds for a 2nd place finish.  He worked his way up to 10th for the overall on the weekend.
Eric looking through the corner on his super fast run down the DH course


Kyle got a flat tire near the road drop high up on the course and preceded to ride the hell out of the tire until it finally fell off of the wheel and destroyed the wheel as well but still finished 13th and 11th overall.
The result of a long ride on a flat tire. Check out the tire looped through the frame on the right!
The girls were supposed to run the big course but the rider in 1st place was very uncomfortable on our practice run so we raced down Scorch which had not been ridden at all and was not terribly fun or long.  We got 1 practice run on it and raced so it wasn’t super fun but I finished 3rd behind a girl that just joined in for that stage and ended up 2nd overall for the weekend but earned my first paycheck of $100.00!


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Trestle Gravity Series at Winter Park (DH and Air DH)

Noah and I headed out to Winter Park the weekend before last to race the first two of seven races in the new Trestle Gravity Series. There is something extremely fun about riding at a resort for 3 days straight and throwing in two entirely different, low-key downhill races. How could we pass that up!?


For most of the weekend I was on my brand new Transition TR450 and had only two practice runs before the first race as it started at 10:30am. Coming off a Canfield Jedi, I thought the 450 would feel pretty foreign… boy was I wrong. It was so easy to ride, I was able to hop on and immediately start killing it! For the first time ever, I didn’t touch one knob on the shock out of the box and was amazed at how well it performed. It performed so well that I pulled out the best race result of my life with it!

Saturday was a traditional Downhill race that started on Search and Seizure to Trestle Downhill, and finished on Witness. This course had a great mix of high speed berms and rollers up top with a rougher, high speed downhill throughout the remainder of the track. With only two practice runs in the morning, Noah ended up 11th and I pulled out an amazing 4th place (my best finish ever!) in the Pro class, even with some fast, well known racers competing.



 Sunday’s air downhill race was a completely different animal. I had ever raced something like this, a race on the upper portion of a jump trail called Rainmaker. You could think of it like a long, huge, rough, and gravity fed BMX track. It was about a 50/50 mix of trail bikes and full DH bikes at the start line. I used my Transition Bandit, and Noah pulled out the big guns with his Santa Cruz V-10 Carbon. Being able to scrub speed over jumps was the only way to do well on this track. Because we didn’t have much scrub practice, Noah and I didn’t do quite as well in this race, but it was still awesome none the less. Noah placed 13th and I came in 9th in Pro. The spreads were much tighter in this race.

 If you haven’t made it to Trestle Bike Park in Winter Park, CO yet, get there! Noah and I both became significantly better riders after 3 days there. They have more than enough DH/freeride trails to keep any level rider busy for a few days. However, before you go, make sure you stop into Grassroots to get your brakes and suspension tuned up because you and your bike are going to take a beating.

 Peter Knepper (Team Racer/Rider)

Friday, July 6, 2012

Crested Butte Wildflower Rush MSC #3


The Crested Butte trails are definitely a local favorite & Grassroots Cycles has a great relationship with the lift served resort mountain.  When a great event such as the Mountain States Cup “Wildflower Rush” goes down on the same weekend as the Crested Butte Bike week, Chain-less World Championship & Fat Tire 40 people come out of the woodworks & things get crazy!  
Below is a video on Crested Butte's website from the weekend featuring Jesse Ruland (at 14 seconds in) & Eric Landis Jumping the top rock garden  (44 seconds in).

Crested Butte Bike Week from Crested Butte on Vimeo.
Dont forget also about the "Crested Roots" video we shot with the mountain last fall!

Crested Roots on Pinkbike


These are not the 2 Beaver.

For many of us the week started out with sampling some of the classic high alpine trails such as Deadman Gulch or Dr’s Park. These usually consist of beautiful but leg numbing climbs which reward you with some of the best & flowey descents in the world.  Add in multiple creek crossings wildlife sightings, such as 2 Beaver in our case, & the experience is world class.
Eric & Sara heading out for a trail ride.
Navigating one of many refreshing creek crossing.
Sara getting ready to head down.
Racing got under way Saturday afternoon with the first of 2 Super D races.  This Super D is a race that had a mass start with racers sprinting up a wide open hill to be the first one to the single track heading downhill.  Once you get to the single track it is difficult to make passes but not at all impossible.  From there it is a 10-15 minute run which includes several uphill sections testing the riders physical stamina along with their technical downhill bike handling ability.  The first day of SD racing went down a relatively tame trail while Sunday morning brought on the air time as they raced down the Timeline trail which it littered with huge drops & jumps!
Noah laying down power

Jesse riding smooth
Several Grassroots riders rode great in this event including Noah sears & Jesse Ruland.   Noah races in the highly competitive Pro class & Jesse in the Open Men 30+.  This was Jesse’s first time racing Super D & none of us knew what to expect.  He said I am going to out power the competition at the start then out ride them down the trail.  That is exactly what he did earning 2nd the first day & winning the 2nd day!   


Noah has been training hard & although he had a tough first race came back strong in SD2 with a 14th against some of the best in the country.  Good work Boys. 
Jesse on the top of the box. #1!
Sunday brought on the Downhill race.  Crested Butte’s track is a super fun mix of rough rock gardens & wide open fast sections with lots of corners & pedaling opportunity.  Hold speed & ride loose is the name of the game here.  Along with Noah & Jesse racing this event we also had Pro’s; Eric Landis, Craig Carlson, Andrew Templin & Cat 1 Riders Curt Clemetson,  & BMX phenom Derek Johnson.  

This was Derek’s first real DH race riding a borrowed Transition TR250 with single crown fork on it.  He was a little under gunned but rode his best coming down safely in 28th Cat2 19-29.

Derek racing hard.
Curt Clemetson looked great in practice putting down impressive runs & looking dialed.  He thought he was on a winning pace but had a flat in his race run.  Even with that came in 5th in Cat1 40+.

Yea Curt!
Jesse Ruland came out of the gate apparently swinging because he did not make it into the first tree section before going down hard enough for him to forfeit finishing the rest of his run.   I can only hope winning the Super D earlier that day took the sting off. :)
Looks like Jesse's medals are healing.
Noah was also dirty at the bottom of his run indicating he fell down but had a huge smile on his face.  He felt good & was going fast when he went down.  That’s racing he’ll get ‘em next time.  

Noah Goon riding before the race:)
The Pro’s were feeling good & ready to throw down against the formidable riders from all over the country.  Qualifying got underway which is a seeding run to place the riders in order, the fastest going last, for the main run.   In the finals Andrew Templin had a solid run placing 27th leaving Craig Carlson & Eric Landis to battle it out for fastest Grassroots rider of the Day.  Craig beat Eric at the first DH race of the season in Angel Fire & a healthy team rivalry may be in play as they raced hard.  Craig threw down big time with a 3:47:66 coming in 15th place.   

Eric had his sights on a podium run & was feeling great coming into that last run of the day.  He cleared the big rock garden jump in the top section only a few riders were doing but made a mistake & over cooked a corner costing him some time.  Coming across the line at 3:45:70 in 10th place he was stoked with his run & knows he is making progress & has more to work on!  

Big thanks to Grassroots Cycles & check out all the team sponsors at the top right.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Angel Fire MSC #2 Chile Challenge Race Report

The roots crew represented at the MSC #2 Chile Challenge in Angel Fire, NM.  Not only was it an MSC race, but also a stop on the ProGRT Gravity Tour meaning that there was a lot of fast riders.   This race also had the only dual slalom race of the season.

Kevin, Jesse, Eric, Pete & Porter taking a photo with the famous Chris DelBosco (Center).
Our 7 hour trip started out with Myself, Jesse Ruland, Noah Sears, and Amy Knepper in my new “farm truck” which a 99 F250.  We ended up running out of gas 3.3 miles from Angel Fire at 2am because the fuel gauge doesn’t work all that well and still showed we had 1/8 of a tank left.  Luckily Kevin Soller was staying in the condo with us and was only about an hour ahead of us so they were still unpacking at 2am.  He came to our rescue and towed a loaded down F250 with his little Ford Ranger about a mile to the next gas station.  Thanks again Kevin!!!

Pete on the Podium in DS.
Due to the circus the night before, we all slept in a little later than usual on Friday morning, but managed to get some solid runs in on the dual slalom, downhill, and super D courses.  Saturday started out with dual slalom practice and qualifying early in the morning followed by some DH practice.  DS racing started in the afternoon and everyone did really well.  The course was on the old 4x course but ended before the three huge old jumps which made the hike to the top much easier!  This was probably one of the best DS courses I have ridden.  It had a lot of flow and held up very well under heavy racing and.  Jesse Ruland placed 9th in his first every non-Ranchstyle DS race on CAT 2 30+ men.  He was knocked out in round one (probably because he slept through morning practice... haha).  Curt Clemetson and I raced in the CAT 1 30+ and got 7th and 3rd respectively.  Eric was knocked out in round 1 by less than 0.1 seconds but still managed to end up 11th out of 19 racers.  Everyone threw down some impressive runs and it’s too bad that was the only DS race of the season.
Super D started early on Sunday morning and so did the wind. 
Noah hauling on the big wheeler!

Noah Sears was the only team rider to race SD, and killed it in the pro class with an 11th fastest over all time. 

Pete soaking up the rough on the DH course.
Eric getting some pedals in.
Pro DH qualifying started at 11am on a brand new course.  Angel Fire originally had a shorter flowier course built, but the MSC came in and vetoed it the week before which led us this monster of a course.  The top section was filled with relentless off camber rocks, roots, and tons of dust, followed by a 2+ minute catwalk pedaling section with a massive headwind before diving back into the old race course which it followed all the way to the bottom.  Times were in the 6-8 minute ranges with the winning pro time of 5:46.14.  Craig Carlson flatted in his qualifier while Eric and I laid down some solid runs with no real issues.  By the time racing started the wind started to howl even harder making the long catwalk pedaling section much more difficult.  Curt Clemetson turned in an awesome time of 6:48.13 in CAT 1 40+ with landed him in 4th.  Next up was Jesse Ruland in CAT 1 30-39.  He sprinted through the finish with a 7:13.97 trying to make up time for the two crashes he had on course.  That time landed him in 13th in his first ever CAT 1 race.  With only the Pros left to go and the wind blowing even harder, the pros started rolling through the line with the same or only slightly faster race run times.  Craig Carlson ran first and destroyed the course with a 6:10.69 landing him in a tie for 25th.  I ran next and had a really solid run with a 6:27.56 placing me in 46th.  That was only 2 seconds faster than my qualifier due to the wind.  Finally, Eric came down with a 6:18.20 which was within 1 second of his qualifying run giving him a 35th overall. 
It was hot for Gingers

It was a wicked good time, and we hope to see you all at the next one!  Thanks to all of our sponsors, wifes/girlfriends, and friend who helped us out.  Without you guys, all this would be extremely difficult!

Peter Knepper (Team Racer/Rider)